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International Journal of Mechanical and Production

Engineering Research and Development (IJMPERD)

ISSN (P): 2249-6890; ISSN (E): 2249-8001
Vol. 9, Issue 2, Apr 2019, 525-530
© TJPRC Pvt. Ltd.



Karpagam Academy of Higher Education, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

The operation of the power producing engine is directly proportional to smooth and efficient compressor
operation. The efficiency of an engine is directly related to the compression ratio of the compressor and expansion ratio
of the turbine. So the need of understanding pressure loss due to low performance and poor reliability, slipping of flow is
essential in today scenario. An investigation of flow over a centrifugal impeller is aimed to control the boundary layer
build-up due to side slip of working fluid. For the purpose of flow analysis a CAD model of an impeller was designed
using CATIA V5 and structural analysis has carried out for the designed model to check the maximum stress. As the
main objective is being fluid flow analysis, the flow volume for the impeller model was generated using GAMBIT
software and analysis was carried out using FLUENT.

KEYWORDS: Centrifugal Compressor, Impeller Design, Slots & Boundary Layer

Original Article
Received: Jan 18, 2019; Accepted: Feb 08, 2019; Published: Mar 13, 2019; Paper Id.: IJMPERDAPR201950


Centrifugal compressors have its extensive usage over the last century and in rotorcraft engines over the
last 68 years for energy production. The designs of compressors are highly experimental, employ scaling strategies
and rely on prototype testing to reach design goals. This design process reverberate the facts that the flow in these
machines is highly complex [2]. The primary objective of the compressor is to compress the working fluid either it
is gas or vapor for the purpose of increasing the pressure of any compressible fluid. The compression of the fluid is
done by reduction of fluid specific volume while the fluid is allowed to pass through the compressor. So that it
delivers a higher pressure level of fluid than its original pressure for power generation [1].

Dheeraj Sagar, investigated turbulent separated flow in an axisymmetric diffuser due to skin friction.
They mainly concentrated in flow separation as well as to downstream reattachment. They found and concluded
that the pressure distribution becomes uniform and separation was getting delayed as diffuser half-angle α decrease
[3]. Yangwei Liu, performed numerical studies for both design and off-design flow conditions. They inquired
the effects of boundary layer suction on corner separation in a highly loaded compressor cascade. They proposed
two new BLS slot configurations and a total of five suction slot configurations. Using this compound slot
configuration, the maximum reduction of total pressure loss was obtained at 7 degree incidence could be 39.4%
[4]. Yu-Tai Lee, predicted the flow separations at the shroud in front of the leading edges ofthe blade. An
improvement in impeller performance would require reducing this shroud flow separation. They experience the
difficulty due to the boundary layer at large curvature of the shroud as it approached the blade might be partially
responsible for the flow separation [5]. Several investigations and studies on flow separation was made earlier at
the diffuser and impeller shroud, and of course at impeller blade. Generally velocity variations from hub to shroud
resulting changes in flow directions complicate the design procedure for centrifugal compressors. C.H.Wu [2] has SCOPUS Indexed Journal

526 C. Nithiyapathi & B. Akilan

presented the three dimensional theory in an impeller. It is composed of two solutions, one in the meridional surface
shroud), and the other in the stream surface of revolution (blade-to-blade).
(blade blade). Based on his theory flow analysis was
carried to find the velocity drop point to encounter the loss in kinetic energy at impeller.

The present study concentrated on investigating the pressure losses due to incidence loss that is the direction of
the relative velocity of fluid at inlet does not match with the inlet blade angle and therefore fluid cannot enter the blade
passage smoothly by gliding along the blade surface.
surface. It causes a sudden discontinuity in fluid properties and flow
parameters resulting escaping from the flow path. To carry over the study, an investigation was done for a compressor
shape for 120 KW micro-turbine
turbine output.


A single
ngle shaft micro gas turbine is considered here for the generator utilization which has a single shaft that
appended to the compressor and turbine. The work of the shaft is stuck to be same, however the work done has been
utilized and it is a different amount of transmitted power along the joint segments of the shaft. The part of the power
generated by gas turbine is consumed by the compressor in its work is assumed to 55 to 60 percentages [7]. For the greater
safe side the consumption of power is taken as 60% at that point the power created is calculated as 120kW which is an
outstanding force of 40% from the shaft control delivered by a gas turbine.. Hence the shaft power to operate the
compressor would be 180kW.

For the finest rotational speed the microturbine typically operates at 45krpm to 100krpm because the maximum
airflow will not exceed Mach number of 1. The diameter of the shaft from the below
below formula it is found that ds = 0.0152 m.
for safety consideration it was assumed to be 20mm (0.02m). The impeller hub, which is attached to the shaft is having a
length of 42mm (mathematically calculated). Here the material is considered to be the usual one,
one that is 42CrMo4V.


Figure 1: 2D Sketch of Shaft Design

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Control of Boundary Layer Build-Up in an Impeller 527

Figure 2: Computational Methodology

Limiting yield stress had checked for safety with respect to torsion applied. It was known and found that torque
given is not exceeding the limiting torque yield stress value. For finding out impeller outside and inside diameter the inlet
and outlet temperature of the impeller was first found, outside tip velocity of the impeller evaluated using air inlet
temperature (equation 2). The calculated values were tabulated below.

− (2)

Table 1: Computed Results for Impeller Design

Implicit Values Calculated Values
Parameters Values Parameters Values
Microturbine Output 120kW Torsional Moment 38.1978 Nm
Optimal rotational speed of Impeller to Shaft applied Torsional 452278.86
45krpm to 100krpm
Microturbine stress N/m2
42CrMo4V Ultimate Tensile
1100MPa Applied Torque 71.039 Nm
Air Inlet temperature 298K Air Outlet Temperature 488.88K


The design specifications were taken from the calculated values that were obtained using mathematical formulae.
As per the targeted power produce the required shaft diameter is 20mm and outer diameter of the impeller was about
181mm. Further design of the compressor impeller is developed using a solid multi - section to fix the blades in the
compressor disk. For the designated values the impeller thickness to the shaft was 42mm and outflow thickness was
6.94mm and the blade angle was 23.35 degrees. Number of blades on the impeller would find by slip factor and air intake
velocity. The design parameters were tabulated below.

Table 2: Compressor Geometry Parameter

Objects Parameter Magnitude
Shaft diameter ds (mm) 20
Impeller inner diameter d1 (mm) 73.3
Impeller outer diameter d2 (mm) 181
Impeller thickness to shaft h (mm) 42
Impeller outflow thickness b (mm) 6.94
Blade/vane degree β (degree) 23.35
Number of blades/vanes n 11

Using the evaluated geometrical parameter, a three dimensional model have been drawn as shown in figure below.
Figure 3 gives 3D view of designed impeller.

Structural analysis for designated centrifugal impeller is carried out here by using ANSYS software. This analysis
is also said to be as Finite Element Analysis which is a mathematical portrayal of a physical framework comprising a part/
assembly (model), material properties and applicable boundary conditions (collectively referred to as pre-processing), the SCOPUS Indexed Journal

528 C. Nithiyapathi & B. Akilan

solution of that mathematical depiction (solving), and the study of the results of that solution (post-processing).

For pre-processing FEA software typically uses a CAD representation of the physical model and breaks it down
into small pieces called finite “elements”. This process is called ―meshingǁ. Before meshing, at first, the properties of the
element should be defined properly which includes young’s modulus, poisson’s ratio, and density for the structural

Figure 3: 3D Model of an Impeller Figure 4: Impeller Mesh

More attention was focused on mesh specification and mesh suitability (refer figure 4) i.e. appropriate choice of
element types and mesh density to give a solution to the required degree of accuracy. The material for the impeller (blade)
was chosen into two different materials (commonly used for small size compressor) for the analysis [10] was tabulated

Table 3: Material Properties for Impeller

Young’s Poisson’s Ultimate Tensile
Material Density, ρ(Kg/m3)
Modulus, E (Pa) ratio, γ Strength, UTS MPa
Titanium AlloyTi-b-120UCA 0.102E12 0.3 4850 1147
Stainless Steel Alloy-304 0.193E12 0.29 8030 1675

It was noted that the Loads, constraints and Deformations were experienced in the compressor mainly due to two
kind forces (refer figure 5). One was its inertial loads caused by own material property due to the movement of rotation.
These parameters are dependent to properties such as mass and density of a material and speed of rotational objects.
The region was on all parts of the body. In the meantime the issues, including three dimensional axisymmetric solids of
transformation were subjected to Axisymmetric loading. Revolving bodies like compressor can be dissected by introducing
centrifugal forces in the body force term.

Figure 5: Deformation Due to Figure 6: Flow Path-Meshed

Blade Speed Volume with Slot

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Control of Boundary Layer Build-Up in an Impeller 529


Analysis begins with a mathematical model of a physical problem using CFD. It deals with conservation of
matter, momentum, and energy that must be satisfied throughout the region of interest. Fluid properties are modelled
empirically and Streamlining suppositions are made with a specific end goal to make the issue tractable. Also, it provides
appropriate initial and boundary conditions for the problem. The analysis region is modelled using GAMBIT for the
designated compressor stage where the fluid flow carries over. Normally the flow enters at inlet and exits radially at the tip,
so the required boundary conditions at the inlet and outlet is set to get output as the pressure parameter.

The complete mesh of 3D hexahedral was done and the boundary conditions were given according to the flow

Figure 7: Static Pressure of Impeller Without Slot Vs With Slot

Figure 8: Total Pressure of Impeller without Slot Vs with Slot

From figure 7 and 8 the static pressure and the total pressure value of the impeller without and with slots shows
that a better increase in the pressure at the tip of the impeller so that at the exit section of the compressor it might reach
close to the required pressure ratio. SCOPUS Indexed Journal

530 C. Nithiyapathi & B. Akilan


Figure 9: Pressure Ratio Comparison Figure 10: Efficiency Comparison

The analysed results gave great increase to pressure rise as well as the efficiency of the compressor. In future it is
essential to get further improvement is sizing the dimension of slots and identifying the accurate place of flow slipping for
better result.


The application of slots at a velocity falling point due to side slip controls the greater level of escaping fluid from
its desired path. Hence at the tip of the impeller 90% of the kinetic energy have a possible to catch and convert into
pressure energy to attain greater pressure level close to the requirement.


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Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. London, vol. A247, pp. 529-551, April 1955. (references)

2. J. Clerk Maxwell, A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, 3rd ed., vol. 2. Oxford: Clarendon, 1892, pp.68-73.

3. I.S. Jacobs and C.P. Bean, “Fine particles, thin films and exchange anisotropy,” in Magnetism, vol. III, G.T. Rado and H.
Suhl, Eds. New York: Academic, 1963, pp. 271-350.

4. K. Elissa, “Title of paper if known,” unpublished.

5. R. Nicole, “Title of paper with only first word capitalized,” J. Name Stand. Abbrev., in press.

6. Sathish, T., "Experimental investigation on degradation of heat transfer properties of a black chromium-coated aluminium
surface solar collector tube", International Journal of Ambient Energy, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 1-5, 2018

7. Y. Yorozu, M. Hirano, K. Oka, and Y. Tagawa, “Electron spectroscopy studies on magneto-optical media and plastic substrate
interface,” IEEE Transl. J. Magn. Japan, vol. 2, pp. 740-741, August 1987 [Digests 9th Annual Conf. Magnetics Japan, p.
301, 1982].

8. M. Young, The Technical Writer’s Handbook. Mill Valley, CA: University Science, 1989.

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